18 August 2020

The text of the Sermon on the Mount.

My translation of the Sermon on the Mount.

No, not so I can have my own spin on it, or an “authoritative text” to work from; that’s not how translation works. I translate so I can study the original text in greater depth. If you translate so you can frame it to suit yourself, stop it.

Feel free to read it in other translations. Compare them to one another so you can see the translators’ consensus—and that gives you a better idea of what Jesus means, than simply reading one “best” translation. Then follow him; not us translators.

And the best way to follow him is to follow his sermon, as he himself taught in verses 7.24-27.

Matthew 4.24 - 7.29 KWL
4.24 The rumor of Jesus went out to all Syria. People brought him everyone who had all sorts of evil diseases, crushed by torments, demoniacs, lunatics, the paralyzed—and he cured them. 25 Many crowds followed Jesus: People from the Galilee, Dekapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond-Jordan. 5.1 Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up a hill. As he seated himself, his students came to him. 2 Opening his mouth, Jesus taught them, saying:
5.3 “The spiritually poor: How awesome!—the heavenly kingdom is theirs.
4 Those mourning: How awesome!—they’ll be comforted.
5 The gentle: How awesome!—they’ll inherit the land.
6 Those hungry and thirsty for justice: How awesome!—they’ll be filled.
7 The merciful: How awesome!—they’ll be shown mercy.
8 Those of clean mind: How awesome!—they’ll see God.
9 Those making peace: How awesome!—they’ll be called God’s children.
10 Those hunted down because of justice: How awesome!—the heavenly kingdom is theirs.
11 When people condemn you, hunt you down, say everything evil against you, lie,
all because of me: How awesome you are!
12 Rejoice and celebrate for your great reward in heaven!
For they persecuted the prophets before you this way.
5.13 “You’re the earth’s salt.
When salt is tasteless, in what way will it salt things?
It’s of no use—well, unless it’s thrown outside, to be walked upon by people.
14 You’re the world’s light.
A city can’t be hidden when it lies on a hill.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on the lampstand, and it shines on everything in the house.
16 So shine your light before the people so they could see your good works,
and think well of your heavenly Father.
5.17 “Don’t assume I came to dissolve the Law or the Prophets.
I didn’t come to dissolve but complete:
18 Amen! I promise you, the heavens and earth may pass away,
but one yodh, one penstroke of the Law, will never pass away;
not till everything’s done.
19 So whoever relaxes one of these commands—the smallest—and thus teaches people,
they’ll be called smallest in the heavenly kingdom.
Whoever does and teaches them,
they’ll be called great in the heavenly kingdom:
20 I tell you, unless morality abounds in you, more than in scribes and Pharisees,
you may never enter the heavenly kingdom.
5.21 “You heard this said to the ancients: ‘You shall not murder.’ Ex 20.13, Dt 5.17
Whoever murders will be subject to judgment.
22 And I tell you this: Everybody angry with their sibling will be subject to judgment.
Whoever tells their sibling, ‘You dumbass,’ will be subject to the senate.
Whoever says, ‘You moron,’ will be subject to a trash-heap of fire.
23 So when you bring your gift to God’s altar,
when you remember your sibling has anything against you,
24 leave your gift there, in front of God’s altar.
First go make up with your sibling. Then come back and bring your gift.
25 Be quick to cooperate with your prosecutor as much as you can on the way to trial,
lest your prosecutor turn you in to the judge,
the judge to the bailiff, and you’re thrown into prison.
26 Amen! I promise you you’ll never come out of there till you work off your last quadrans.
5.27 “You heard this said: ‘You shall not adulter.’ Ex 20.14, Dt 5.18
28 And I tell you this: Everybody who looks at a woman to covet her,
has now adultered with her in their heart.
29 If your right eye trips you up, gouge it out and throw it from you.
It’s to your advantage: One of your limbs can be destroyed,
so your whole body might not be thrown into ge-Henna.
30 If your right hand trips you up, cut it off and throw it from you.
It’s to your advantage: One of your limbs can be destroyed,
so your whole body might not go off into ge-Henna.
31 And this said: ‘Whoever may divorce his woman: Give her a divorce scroll.’ Dt 24.1
32 And I tell you this: Everyone who divorces his woman outside of a sexual reason, makes her adulter.
And when anyone marries the divorcée, he adulters.
5.33 “Again, you heard this said to the ancients: You will not perjure. Lv 19.12
You’ll make restitution to the Lord for your oaths. Dt 23.23
34 And I tell you: Don’t swear at all.
Not ‘By heaven!’—it’s God’s throne. Ps 11.4
Not ‘By the land!’—it’s the footstool of his feet. Is 66.1
Not ‘By Jerusalem!’—it’s the city of the great King. Ps 48.2
36 Nor should you swear by your head; you aren’t able to make one hair white or black.
37 Make your word, ‘Yes yes; no no.’ Going beyond this is from evil motive.
5.38 “You heard this said: ‘Eye for eye. Tooth for tooth.’ Ex 21.24, Lv 24.20, Dt 19.21
39 And I tell you: No standing toe-to-toe with evil.
Instead, whoever punches you on the right cheek: Turn the other cheek to them.
40 To those who want you judged, to take your tunic: Forgive them, and give up your clothing.
41 Whoever drafts you to carry their gear one mile, go with them two.
42 Give to one who asks you. Don’t drive off one who wishes to borrow from you.
43 You heard this said: ‘You’ll love your neighbor.’ Lv 19.18 And you’ll hate your enemy.
44 And I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors.
45 Thus you can become your heavenly Father’s children,
since he raises his sun over evil and good, and rains on moral and immoral.
46 When you love those who love you, why should you be rewarded?
Don’t taxmen also do so themselves?
47 When you greet only your family, what did you do that was so great?
Don’t the foreigners also do so themselves?
48 Therefore you will be egalitarian,
like your heavenly Father is egalitarian.
6.1 “Watch out to not do your righteous acts before the people to be seen by them.
Otherwise you won’t get credit from your heavenly Father.
2 So whenever you do charity, don’t toot your own horn,
like hypocrites do in synagogue and on the street, so they can be praised by people.
Amen, I promise you: They got their credit.
3 For you who do charity, don’t have your left hand know what your right does.
4 So your charity can be private. Your Father, who sees what’s private, will credit you.
5 When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites who enjoy standing in synagogues and major intersections,
praying so they might be seen by the people. Amen! I promise you all, they got their credit.
6 When you pray, go into your most private room with the door closed.
Pray to your Father in private. Your Father, who sees what’s private, will credit you.
7 Petitioners shouldn’t be repetitive like the pagans:
They think they’ll be worth hearing because of their wordiness.
8 You shouldn’t compare yourselves with them:
Your Father has known what you have need of, before you asked him.
6.9 “So pray like this: Our Father who’s in the heavens! Sanctify your name.
10 Make your kingdom come. Make your will happen both in heaven and on earth.
11 Give us tomorrow’s bread today.
12 Forgive us our obligations, like we likewise forgive those obliged to us.
13 And may you not bring us through tribulation, but rescue us from evil,
[for the kingdom, power, and glory in the age to come is yours. Amen].
6.14 “When you forgive people their misdeeds, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
15 When you can’t forgive people, your Father won’t forgive your misdeeds either.
16 When you fast, don’t be like the sad-looking hypocrites
who conceal their faces so they look to people like they’re fasting.
Amen! I promise you all, they got their credit.
17 You who fast: Fix your hair and wash your face,
18 so you don’t look to people like you’re fasting, except to your Father in private.
And your Father, who sees what’s private, will credit you.
6.19 “Don’t hoard wealth for yourselves on earth, where moths and corrosion ruin it,
where thieves dig for it and steal it.
20 Hoard wealth for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor corrosion ruins,
where thieves don’t dig for it nor steal it:
21 Where’s your wealth? Your mind will be there too.
22 The body’s light is the eye. So when your eye is healthy, your whole body will be bright.
23 When your eye is ill, your whole body is dark.
So if the light in you is dark, how dark are you?
24 Nobody’s able to be a slave to two masters:
Either they’ll hate one and love the other, or look up to one and down on the other:
Can’t be a slave to God and Mammon.
6.25 “This is why I tell you: Stop worrying!
Stop worrying about what your soul would eat or drink, or what your body would wear.
Isn’t your soul more than food? your body more than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the sky: They neither sow, reap, nor gather into barns.
Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you far better than they?
27 Who among you worriers can add one cubit to their height?
28 Why worry about clothing? Study lilies in the field.
How do they grow? They don’t work, nor spin thread.
29 And I tell you what: Even Solomon in all his splendor wasn’t clothed like them.
30 If God clothes grass of the field—here today, thrown in the oven tomorrow—
won’t he much more you, despite your little faith?
31 So stop worrying. Stop saying, ‘What can we eat? Drink? Wear?
32 Every nation seeks them. Your heavenly Father knows these are all your needs.
33 First seek God’s kingdom, God’s righteousness,
and all these things will be handed to you.
34 So stop worrying about tomorrow: Tomorrow has its own worries.
The evils of the day are plenty.
7.1 “Don’t criticize. Thus you won’t be criticized.
2 For you’ll be critiqued by the very criticism you criticize with.
The measurement you measure with, will measure you.
3 Why do you see the wood chip in your brother’s eye,
yet not notice the support beam in your eye?
4 How will you tell your brother, ‘Let me get the chip out of your eye’?
Look, there’s a beam in your eye!
5 You hypocrite, first get the beam out of your eye!
And you’ll see straight enough to get out the chip from your brother’s eye.
6 But don’t give holy things to the dogs, nor throw your pearls before the pigs.
Otherwise they’ll trample them under their feet, and they might turn and attack you.
7.7 “Ask!—it’ll be given you. Look!—you’ll find it. Knock!—it’ll be unlocked for you.
8 For all who ask receive, who seek find, who knock God’ll unlock for.
9 Same as any of you people. Your child will ask you for bread; you won’t give them a cobblestone.
10 Or they’ll ask you for fish; you won’t give them a snake.
11 So if you’re evil, yet knew to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him?
12 So as much as you want people doing for you, you do that for them:
That’s a summary of the Law and the Prophets.
7.13 “Enter through the narrow gate: The broad gate, the wide road, leads to destruction.
Many are entering destruction by it.
14 The narrow gate, the tight road, leads people to life.
Few are finding it.
15 Watch out for the fake prophets, who come to all of you dressed as sheep,
but underneath they’re greedy wolves.
16 You’ll recognize them by their fruits.
People don’t pluck grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles, do they?
17 So every good tree grows good fruits, and a rotten tree grows bad fruits.
18 A good tree doesn’t grow bad fruits, nor a rotten tree grow good fruits.
19 Every tree not growing good fruit is cut down and thrown into fire.
20 It’s precisely by their fruits that you’ll recognize them.
21 Not everyone who calls me, ‘Master, master!’ will enter the heavenly kingdom.
Just the one who does my heavenly Father’s will.
22 At that time, many will tell me, ‘Master, master! Didn’t we prophesy in your name?
Didn’t we throw out demons in your name? Didn’t we do many powerful things in your name?’
23 And I’ll explain to them, ‘I never knew you.
Get away from me, all you Law-breakers.’
24 So everyone who hears these words of mine and does them
will be like a sensible man who builds his house on the bedrock.
25 The rain descended, rivers came, winds blew, and attacked that house.
It didn’t fall, for it had been founded on bedrock.
26 Everyone hearing these words of mine and doesn’t do them
will be like a stupid man who builds his house on the sand.
27 The rains descended, rivers came, winds blew, and attacked that house.
It fell, and its disaster was great.”
7.28 It happened when Jesus finished these lessons, the masses were amazed at his teaching:
29 His teaching wasn’t like their scribes, but like one who has authority.